About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone - Again

This may be a long post so buckle your seat belt.

For a long time now something has been nagging me. Maybe it's God's leading (I strongly suspect so), or maybe it's a passing whim. Nope, it can't be that - it's been going on for too long to be any sort of whim. The thing is, I have said for years now that I would like to do something with the homeless people in our town. It's true, I've done a few things. I've gotten groups together to take meals down and serve them. I've organized an outdoor concert and cookout for the entire neighborhood. I've taken Jeep-fulls of "stuff" down to donate. I've done the Power Packing a time or two. But those few things have been just that - few. Just random hits and misses that require no commitment.

I've said things like, "I don't have the time". Between family responsibilities, work, and my other part-time "job" (coordinating the Pine Ridge trips) I don't have a whole lot of time. Yet I do still find time to do nothing at all.

A couple of weeks ago Brian, Cody, Allison, and myself went to some homeless "camps" around our town. A lady who works with the police department doing street outreach to the homeless gave us the grand tour. It was eye-opening.

And, now I have to do something.

Since then, I've been thinking, praying, thinking some more, talking to a few folks, praying some more. All to try to figure out exactly what I'm to do. Do I organize others at my church to get involved. I'd love that, but I'm not sure if there would be any that would want to. Still, I've gotta do something myself.

So, I've been bugging the street outreach lady with email. She's probably wondering what kind of kook she's got on the line. She has a job and it's doesn't involve answering my email. She's also on the board at the local homeless shelter. I hate bugging her. I hate bugging anybody. It feels intrusive. But I don't know where else to go to get my questions answered. So, she told me I can attend the Butler County Coalition on Homelessness meeting in April. I guess I will. What exactly that is, I've no idea. Who is the Butler Co. Coalition on Homelessness? I have no idea. What will that meeting involve? I have no idea. Is it really OK that I just "show up"? I have no idea. Have I just invited myself into something (I hate to invited myself to things)? I have no idea.

This is WAY out of my comfort zone. As if working directly with people on the street isn't uncomfortable enough, I am now bugging busy people and inviting myself to official sounding meetings. I don't do those things. Really. But then, that is sort of how the Pine Ridge trips started happening. Way back in the beginning I heard of another church in another state that was going to Pine Ridge and I just called up the pastor and invited myself. He was gracious and let his "kook" go along. That was way out of my comfort zone too. Then I went with a group of people I'd never met to a place I'd never been. That was way out of my comfort zone too.

I can only guess that there are just some times when God calls us to do things we don't normally do ... things that really go against our grain .... things that may perhaps make us seem to be a little "kooky" if we're going to follow Him.

Meanwhile, while I'm struggling with all of this, my son and his soon to be bride and actually just doing stuff. They've already been to the shelter and now have a relationship with one of the young ladies there and she is attending their Sunday night Bible study at Allison's apartment.


BarBarA said...

Keep taking those steps out. I am so impressed and inspired. You don't just talk about stuff - YOU DO IT! Of course its out of your zone, but look at the results of Pine Ridge? Look how you've blessed people by sharing God's love there? Now you can expand that to the homeless in your town. And you know, you'll have your socks blessed off in the process. That meeting sounds official, but she would not have invited you if it was not ok for you to go. I think its just another green light that there just HAPPENS to be a mtg. next month!!!

Way to go Cody and Allison! (What is the exact date of their big day?)

Amber said...

Cody and Allison's wedding is May 5th! It's going to be here before we know it.

I'm just back from dropping off some coffee and sugar at the shelter and decided to ask if this girl who Cody and Ali have been hanging out with was there. She was. It was funny - one of the other ladies there went to tell her she had a visitor and she freaked out wondering if I was an undercover cop! LOL. I said, "No, I'm one of your friend's mom". We talked for a bit and I think I am going to invite her over to the house for dinner.

Brian Buriff said...

Last night, Amber brought home at least a half-dozen shopping bags full of winter hats donated by someone in our church. That is cool!

Amber said...

Yep, that couple were at WalMart and found hats on clearance. We now have 160 hats! I'm shipping one box to Pine Ridge today since their winter isn't over yet, and the others I will put back for the homeless.